Review: Angelina’s Bachelors
Angelina’s Bachelors by Brian O’Reilly
Publisher: Gallery Books
From the cover:
Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D’Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.
Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina’s food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.
Let me begin by just saying that I love books about food. I’m a huge foodie and I’m always looking for the next great meal or food to try. (Just this weekend I had some stuffed avocado for the first time and they were amazing!!). With that said, I have to give y’all a warning about this book. Don’t try to read this book on an empty stomach. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I had to put this book down not because it was bad or that I hated it or anything, but because it made me so hungry I had to go find something to satisfy my craving.
I first picked up Angelina’s Bachelors by Brian O’Reilly because I loved Melissa Senate’s The Love Goddess’ Cooking School and this book reminded me of it when I read the synopsis for it. While both books deal with food, each one stands out in my mind for different reasons.
What I really loved about this book was all the wonderful characters. Angelina is an easy character to relate to and immediately I was sympathetic towards her. Through food and cooking, she slowly learns to cope with her husband’s loss as well as redefining family and discovering what she wants out of life. In addition to Angelina there were a cast of bachelors who help her along the way and each one stood out separately for their own special quirks. I love how all the characters came together and became so supportive towards one another like a surrogate family.
Although the plot was a little predictable at times, it was entertaining enough to keep me reading it until the end. It was a light and heartwarming novel and exactly what I was looking for at the time.
The book also contains a ton of recipes, but they’re a little too advance for me to try. I wish someone could just cook the meals for me because they all sound delicious while I was reading the book. Perhaps one day I’ll try one of the recipes. I just hope I don’t end up burning down the house when I do.